Perfect for canapes or a party, these vol-au-vents that are filled with creamy goat’s cheese, piquante peppers, honey and thyme are effortless to make. You can prepare the cases the day before and quickly make the filling a few hours before you need them. If you’re looking for fuss-free party food, these are just for you.
OK, so these are a bit 1972, but what goes around comes around and I think vol-au-vents definitely have a place on the party scene. A lot of the occasions (especially weddings) that I’ve been to served vol-au-vents in some shape or form. I’ve never tried to make vol-au-vents before and was really impressed by how easy they were to make. The only real hard labour, if you can really call it that, is making the pastry cases. To save time, I used ready rolled puff pastry. Some of you may think that’s cheating, but December is one of the most stressful times of the year, so these little shortcuts are welcomed in my house.
- 1 sheet of ready roll puff pastry
- 250g soft goat's cheese
- 6 Peppadew Mild Piquante Peppers
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 beaten egg
- honey for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Using a circle cutter, cut out 16 circles out of the puff pastry and place on the baking tray. Take a smaller circular cutter and cut out the center of 8 of the larger circles and set them aside.
- Now brush the complete circles with the egg wash and lie the circles with the missing centres on top, so that you end up with 8 vol-au-vent cases.
- Brush the tops with egg wash and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool once cooked.
- Whip the soft goat's cheese until smooth and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Spoon the filling into the centre of the cooled down vol-au-vents and drizzle with honey before serving.
The creamy goat’s cheese is a fantastic match to the mild heat from the Peppadew Mild Piquante Peppers. They’re the perfect amount of sweet and spicy heat to offset the tangy soft cheese. If you want a little more punch, you could step up that fiery heat by replacing the mild peppers with the hot version. Also, honey and thyme just works so well together and so all four of the filling ingredients are a lovely combination.
These would be lovely at any Christmas parties that you are hosting, as a starter or as New Year party nibbles. Over the past couple of years, we’ve stayed in New Year’s Eve, but I always like to make sure that we have some tasty finger foods to enjoy as we welcome in the new year.
If you’re not wanting to make bite-size versions of these, you could make them a bit larger and serve them with a side salad. Although I warn you now they are very moreish, this batch didn’t last long at all. I know puff pastry isn’t the healthiest ingredient out there, but these are small and life is all about balance after all.
What are your favourite party foods to make? Are you a vol-au-vent fan?
*Recipe commissioned by Peppadew, but all opinions are my own.